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YP Summit 2008

My first Young Professionals Summit ever and I FORGOT MY CAMERA!

So can you tell I’m new to taking pictures? No experienced photog would forget her camera at one of these events! It was one of those things where I was driving along en route to my hotel, tired from an already full week of work, singing along (not to tune obviously) to my music and thinking about what I could have forgotten because I just had this feeling I was missing something.

I pulled into my hotel, which was nicer than I expected, and was right down the road from the hotel wehre the summit took place. I was walking up to my hotel lobby to check in and thought, “oh, these palms are really nice out here, this is really nice landscaping, this would be a great picture.” DAMMIT, that’s what I forgot! My camera! Drat!

Camera issue aside, the summit was a blast. I met so many great young professionals from around the country and came back with so many ideas for our local young professionals group. There was so much energy and passion among Next Generation Consulting – the market research firm that organizes this summit – and the young professional leaders from groups across the states.

The best part of the summit was learning about other YP organizations and what they have done to become actively engaged in their community. NG Consulting has done research (and has the numbers to back it up) about how important it is to get our generation involved, and that having things to do and a group with whom to connect is one of the best ways to attract and retain young professionals to your area. We heard from the best speaker ever, Rebecca Ryan, research extraordinaire and founder of Next Generation Consulting. She has such great energy and I applaud her trailblazing and her work with our generation.

One of the greatest things I took away from the summit was something I learned about myself. I have never been an excellent public speaker, and it’s certainly not something I enjoy. I usually get nervous and my heart beats really fast and hard. But during the last day of the summit, we were instructed to get into small groups to discuss how we can Take it Home and really apply what we learned, and after 15 minutes we were told to switch tables and mingle with different people – except the Table Host, who was going to report out to the crowd. The TH was decided by the person whose birthday was closest to that day…and mine was the only one even near it. So, knowing I was going to have to report out to at least 100 people, I got a little nervous, but I just took some notes and didn’t really worry about it. And then it was my turn to speak.

And I did great! And I loved it! It’s amazing to me that I am actually able to speak to a crowd of peers around my age and regarding a subject I am very passionate about! I did so much better than I usually do when speaking to others in the business field. The whole experience really put me out of my comfort zone and I’m so glad I had that opportunity.

I might not have any pictures but I met some awesome people, brought back many great ideas, and learned something about myself. What’s better than that?

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2 Responses

  1. […] Lunch with two awesome YPG friends with whom I attended the summit a couple weeks ago. Exchange ideas with them about the coming year – what we can do to become more […]

  2. […] have been so passionate about the YP movement since I attended the summit last month, and lately all I’ve been seeing are articles on young professionals, the next […]

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